Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Really, I'm Not a Terrorist!

September 26, 2014

Three days ago I received an e-mail from one of my favorite bloggers, Catalyst/Taylor at Oddball Observations. His e-mail was short and succinct: Say it isn’t so!!! This link was attached.

 

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2014/09/stephen-hayes-on-dhs-terrorist-watchlist-195996.html

 

When I clicked on it, I was connected to a news story about a journalist who’d discovered he was on Homeland Security’s Terrorist Watchlist. The journalist’s name was Stephen F. Hayes.

    

Frankly, I’ve been terrorized by this fellow for years. He’s a regular Fox News contributor (shudder), and a senior writer for The Weekly Standard, not a publication I hold in high regard. Worst of all, he wrote a sycophantic (brown-nose) biography of Dick Cheney, who I also do not hold in high regard, and he spells his complete name exactly like mine.   

    

There are various ways to spell my first name. There’s S-t-e-v-e-n. Or there’s S-t-e-p-h-a-n. Or even S-t-e-f-a-n. I spell my name S-t-e-p-h-e-n, and so does the journalist/pundit from Fox News. There are two acceptable ways to spell Hayes, with or without an “e.” We both spell our surnames similarly. Here’s where it really gets annoying: we both have the same middle initial: “F.”

    

Attached to the link was a photograph of this ersatz Stephen F. Hayes. He has dark hair, wears glasses and sports a goatee. I called Mrs. Chatterbox to the computer and asked, “Does this fellow look like me?”

    

“He’s younger than you,” she said.

    

I should have stopped there, but instead I added, “Is he as good looking as I am?”

    

In lieu of answering, she claimed an urgent need to use the restroom and bolted from the room. I had my answer.

    

In the article, Hayes claimed he’s currently pulled out of security lines at airports and subjected to additional security, even for domestic flights. Evidently, this stemmed from a recent trip he made to Turkey. As you might recall, I made a trip to Turkey not too long ago. We undoubtedly have different Social Security numbers, but since we both spell our names exactly the same I’m wondering if I’m also on a terrorist watchlist. Heck, I may be a liberal but I’m still a typically patriotic American with red, white, and blue blood. If it weren’t for spell-check I wouldn’t even know how to spell “Jihad.”

    

As I’ve mentioned before, Mrs. C. works for our local police department and she plans on checking with an intelligence officer to see if I’m currently being watched. I’ll let you know what we find out. In the not so distant future, I’ll be flying to Germany and I don’t want to be subjected to body cavity searches. At least I don’t think so; the one I was subjected to not long ago in India wasn’t half bad. Hmmnnn…on second thought: Down with the USA! Bunch of ungovernable whiners. Here’s what I really think of our leaders: I think they should all collectively bend over and--- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ATTENTION: THIS BLOG HAS BEEN INTERRUPTED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. YOU HAVE BEEN PLACED ON A WATCHLIST JUST FOR READING IT—THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.

 

 

 

Note: This notice from DHS is a joke. If you believed it for even a second, I’d like to invite you to my next poker party. Please bring lots of cash.   

 

 



Comments

30 Comments
You should write a biography on Dick Cheney, too.
By: Katy Anders on September 26, 2014
It would be scary to have my name on that list!! Would you ask Mrs. C to check out "fishducky" please?
By: fishducky on September 26, 2014
Well- you have a brain, talent and a fabulous sense of humor...what does he have? And I think you and Mrs C are one of the cutest couples ever! Humpf.
By: Kathe W. on September 26, 2014
oh, lordy...
By: TexWisGirl on September 26, 2014
Don't leave your house. Don't even look out the window. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on September 26, 2014
The list has problems -- if you have the same name as a suspected terrorist, even if you are only a 6-year-old kid, you are in trouble. (Yes, a 6-year-old who had the same name as someone on the list was turned away from the plane on a family vacation.) Let's hope they are now using other information besides just the name.
By: messymimi on September 26, 2014
Hmmm..I guess you could start using your full middle name..:)
By: Coloring Outside the Lines on September 26, 2014
What a sad coincidence! I've seen this interloper before when I visiting a friend who is afflicted with the brain robbing need to watch Fox News. I'll bet he is not as clever a story teller as the Chatterbox and would wager a lot of cash that you'd crush the fool in a "paint off!" If ever the similarity of names results in your being detained or delayed let them know they have the wrong person because you know how to think. Tell them the person they want can be found in Dick Cheney's BVDs.
By: Tom Cochrun on September 26, 2014
I'd freak out if some nut had my exact name!! We can only hope he gets hit by a bus. (Thanks for commenting on my blog. Yes, I bet we're the same age. I turned 53 in June.)
By: Lexa Cain on September 26, 2014
Kinda scary what these guys are up to. There should be much more checking before somebody is on that list.
By: red on September 26, 2014
Hope Mrs. C can find out and maybe get you cleared if you are on the list. I think you are much cuter and definitely smarter.
By: Akansas Patti on September 26, 2014
Hahaha...too funny! I never met anybody with my name, spelled exactly the same way, until a few months ago. Freaked me out! So, going to Germany, huh? When and where?
By: Pixel Peeper on September 26, 2014
I suspect I have been on the watch list since ordering that poor-gal's-Rosetta-Stone DVD to learn Arabic. Not for me. My youngest son wanted it, back when he was six.
By: Val on September 26, 2014
Ha! After the rants I've unleashed over the years at those you've already mentioned and more, I suspect I'm on more than one list myself. However inconvenient it might be, I almost view it as a badge of honor. Just as long as they don't confuse me with one of those genuinely bad guys in the news. I've never been anywhere even remotely close to one of those terrorist hotbeds, so I think I'm safe. :)
By: Scott Park on September 26, 2014
You are too funny!! And yes, he DOES look like you. Better be careful next time you're in the airport!
By: marcia @ Menopausal Mother on September 26, 2014
How annoying! Just make sure you are wearing clean underwear the next time you fly!
By: Eva Gallant on September 26, 2014
Homeland Security, puts the fear of {insert your deity} into its citizens across the country. Doesn't sound too American... does it. They do employ the age old duck test. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. :-)
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 27, 2014
I have long been suspecious of you and your leftist, liberal communist leanings. I suspect this fine conservative Fox news reporter is the unjust victim of your subversive ideology. Just be warned...we Republicans have our eyes on you! You are however, the better looking Stephen F.Hayes.
By: Cranky Old Man on September 27, 2014
OMG! This is funny in a very scary, Big Brother s watching all us liberals way, Stephen. And yes, you two look like you could be related, but alas, you are far better looking. While traveling, don't make eye contact at airports, and for G-d sakes, don't tell people in foreign countries you're a writer again. You'll end up in some dark 'hostage hotel' and we'll never see your funny stories again. Mindy
By: mindy on September 27, 2014
Oh. My. Word... That is disconcerting on SO many levels. I guess you'll just have to sue him to change his name! ;D Seriously, I do hope that this won't cause YOU problems, I seem to remember that the lines for planes 'n such are pretty long and intense during REGULAR commutes, having to get "special attention" wouldn't be fun... Cat
By: Cat on September 27, 2014
Stephen: While I can certainly see this is antagonizing, don't let it be. We live in a very complicated world and I for one have tried to keep it simple. We have so much that has happened that my father wouldn't believe if he were still with us. The good that you do for others and your optimistic outlook on life with humor will always carry the day!
By: Michael Manning on September 27, 2014
LOLOL - that is hilarious (well, it's hilarious for ME anyway). Hope it doesn't inconvenience your life too much :)
By: The Bug on September 27, 2014
I, of course, thought it was real until I saw that the seal was in black and white.
By: Snowbrush on September 27, 2014
Funny. When I saw that, I thought immediately of you. Thank goodness it's not. But, should we be following each other's blogs? I mean, I make fun of many people in power, so Al Penwasser may be on that list, too.
By: Al Penwasser on September 28, 2014
By the way, you're much better looking than that guy. Uh...um...I don't mean that in a sexual context, either.
By: Al Penwasser on September 28, 2014
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
By: AlPenwasser on September 28, 2014
Well, this goes to prove what I have suspected for quite some time, which is that you do not know what the other you is doing. This is kinda like your right hand not knowing what your left hand is doing--only different. Although, since one of you is left-leaning while the other turns to the right, there may be more similarities than I am comfortable with considering at this time. By the way, do you accept counter-checks at your poker game?
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on September 28, 2014
Thank you for making me giggle on this grey Monday morning. Your experience with this (older & less good-looking) double reminded me of my trip to Greece two years ago. I'd noticed that the locals were giving me strange looks and later discovered that I looked uncannily like a famous (widely despised) Greek politician. It's a wonder I wasn't assassinated! And to rub salt in it, my look-alike was 20 years my senion.
By: Bryan Jones on September 29, 2014
What a hoot!
By: John on September 29, 2014
First: You're much better looking than that wingnut! Second: Man, have you just opened a can of worms. Third: I am now going to disavow any knowledge of you.
By: Mitchell is Moving on September 30, 2014

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